We have some new stock on our site. Have a look at some of our mineral cabochons!
We have some new stock on our site. Have a look at some of our mineral cabochons!
I have repulsively positive things to say. A big sloppy sandwich of recognition, fun and laughter. Run the fuck away while you still have legs!! Aaaahhh!
So standing in the world means not being on the ground (as much). Sometimes I sniff the dirt to remind myself that dirt and poop both end up on the bottom of my shoes.
You know what’s great? Finding people who will make crop circles with you.
Can you believe C made this for me? Sweet monkey Jeebus!! I never though green boils could be so enticing. As per my usual, I adorn all my business casual outfits with the skulls of animals I’ve eaten recently. Look at the detail!! All the tiny little crevices. You know, crevices is a terrible word.
Have a good night!
I have opened a cabochon shop on Etsy where my mom’s and my cabs are up for display and sale. The profit is not the motivation. I want a forum to provide my mom with a place to display and have others admire her work. Thanks for clicking, if you do!
The world is swimming in poison. Is it any wonder I have such conflicted states? The environment is a variable. That contribution is destructive.
I can’t blame the air. I don’t blame. There is only here, now. I have a chance to set on in a better direction. I’m learning, adapting. Change is constructive.
Many days under the shroud.
What is clear:
Even the slightest, tiniest, misconstrued sense of being engaged or cared about has a PROFOUND effect on output. I am more active, effusive, creative and alive when even the deception of concern is present enough to cast the illusion of reality. This should draw a flag as well for the nature of the spike.
Erratic and concerning to some degree, and undeniably significant in influence. Also potentially, quite useful if channeled effectively (or if engaged more slowly). It’s the type of bloom that would promote me more vibrantly into the world, if only I knew how to conjure the feeling within myself.
I know I’m going to be okay regardless of sunshine and good soil. To think of a time where that could be “better” seems impossible. Is this a drop of water hitting the sand and being greedily devoured into mud?
Hey there Blog.
I went on a bit of a scouting mission today, to explore the far side of W El Camino Ave. this would be avoided on weekdays due to a substantive increase in traffic. The journey was very enlightening, and the longes single walk to date.
Just across the street, the path follows the Muck Trench and the water becomes vile and stagnant.
The end of the Muck Trench is some form of treatment plant, or regulatory station for adding/subtracting water. There were still plenty of fish/animals blooping around in the murk.
The trail heads East, paralleling construction sites and businesses for a distance. In one area, there was a very peculiar smell. Musty, but in a twingy way.
Much to my surprise, the paved path came to an end, and interpretation suddenly entered the mix. Now there were choices, divergences and uncertainty. The trail I took looped back to the beginning, and I made no forward progress past Natomas Oaks Park.
Once I was deep in the woods, I found this little bench. It seemed like a nice thing to put here. In such a pleasant place, why not stop to relish?
All in all, an eventful and colorful trip. I felt great by the end, very refreshed and vital. I’ll need to push past the park to complete my eastern voyages, which I will continue to investigate as hazard permits. More visuals to come.
I’m taking some verbal abuse on a daily basis and I’m finally getting irritated. Recently, the scale and earnestness in which I am being berated has recently ramped-up. I’m starting to lose self-respect and motivation to live. I imagine you would too if you were taking THIS sort of abuse on a daily basis at lunchtime.
Great day of exercise today, as I was motivated to post a decent score during the weekend step challenge (that I started). Among the three walks/fishing trips I took today, this one was the big one:
Walks, especially maintained throughout the day, really do help keep up my vital energy and help me feel good. This is great looking at the map. I hammered that out in 43 minutes.
Along the way, Moo and I went fishing, and I saw some wildlife.
There is so much life here, crawling around and making life noises. Ducks, Herons, Squirrels and Turkeys. I am feeling at home here, and recognizing the rarity of the place I find myself. Many positive aspects despite the afore mentioned negatives.
This place has a nourishing quality to it, even if it is a locale where I feel hunted at times. Predators are here, but I am prepared. No one will defile this place while I have a chance to prevent it. I’ve never lived in a place like this, and I doubt I will again when I move out.
I’ve been ruminating on my feelings about my exes. Ultimately, I think I just need to stop with them altogether. None of them, to this point, have done anything with prolonged positivity or true benefit. It’s not mutual, it never has been, and I’m done. My energy will now go someplace where it will be reciprocated, and stored for a future individual worthy of investment.
Tonight I feel pretty solid despite so many unknowns still in play. Resolutions should not be final, but absorbed, and moved past towards the next resolvable goal.
Things in the mood and confidence department will continue to improve as time goes forward. DUCKIES!!!
Naturally I expected there would be some differences between Northern and Southern California climates, but I truly did not appreciate how vastly different it really was:
In San Diego, the main issues were humidity, and lack of seasons. San Diego has 2 seasons, Warm Summer and Kinda Cloudy Summer. Sometimes it rains, but usually under 10 inches on the year. The landscape was vastly different as well, because within 100 miles of the coast of the Pacific Ocean one could go from city, to foothills, to mountains, to desert all in one long drive east.
San Diego is consistent, I’ll give it that. But down there, water is a precious commodity. There are limitations on use, and extra cost since it is not as easy to come by as it is in other places. That’s one of the major changes for me, the landscape of Northern California, currently, is saturated. The ground is wet, and there is an abundance of green everywhere. It is an enchanting thing to be around. Green has some sort of radiance that inspires life, vitality and optimism. Growing things are persevering, and making the most of what they have available. Give a plant water, and it will capitalize by strengthening itself. This, in a way, is the inspiration for the mood instilled by my climate and growth is the engine that drives change.
The contrast is quite stark in my selective images, but it proves the point I am trying to make. This land I am in now, is much more in harmony than the one I was in before. In the South, the aquifers are drying up and the land is parched for moisture it will not receive. Up here, the dirt is alive. There is water everywhere, in the fields, through the city, and the two rivers come together downtown and flow out to sea. The massive Sierra Nevadas in the background, the primary contributor to the flowing water across the valley below.
Though the trip from coast to desert is substantially farther than it would have been in San Diego, I’m willing to trade that convenience for the chance to live in a place where the heartbeat of life can be felt. This place has enchanted me all over again with all its luscious trees, gorgeous vistas and changing climate.
I have a new place to call home, and at this time in my life where upward expansion is the norm, the analogy of growing plants feasting on the abundant resources of a nourished land seems quite appropriate.
I have been infiltrated by an unwanted gastropod, who hitched a ride on me from some point on my fishing journey this morning. Once I put my jacket away, he crawled up the wall, then onto the ceiling. This is when I spotted him, on approach to deliver what I’m sure was to be the killing blow while I was busy blogging (or otherwise not paying attention to the potential of sky slug). “Son of a bitch!” I shouted, and disposed of the unwanted invader. “A watery death for you!” I cackled madly, my face illuminated from underneath and my eyebrows wildly accented. Muahaha!
I have “created” a new fishing lure (see abomination). As I described earlier, I demolished a rooster tail and added all this trout shit to it. It’s basically the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and the probability of catching anything more than an aquatic plant with it seems astonishingly low.
So I got my fucking dad laughing at me, and that’s probably fair, but nevertheless, he insists I should use “live” bait or food. “Just give me 5 minutes and a cheese ball” he keeps telling me. And I suppose if everyone in professional sports did steroids and got super artificially buff that would be cool too right? OH YAH, LOOK AT MAH MUSCLES? Moral equivalence! Food/live bait is cheating. I’m not fishing for food. There is no urgency, therefore I should be able to procure a fishy by NO OTHER MEANS than through skill/deception. I MUST fool the fish… it is the only way to achieve true honor. If the fish (surely) does not like this latest, sad offering to the gods of temptation, I’ll just come back tomorrow and try something new to fail with. Basically, this is a new low point for me as an angler. I’m not going to let another self-respecting fisherman see what I’m walking over to the water with tomorrow, and I will get to the spot under the cover of near darkness to avoid potential shame.
Ugh. Okay, all is not lost despite the troubling events of earlier. For a minute there though, I had to do a quick trip through the Torah. Locusts, frogs, burning hail, no plague of slugs. Phew. Then I was like, OH SHIT, Revelations though? Was one of the four horsemen a gastropod? FUCK! Was there anything about slugs or possibly flaming slugs (there is a lot of fire and brimstone and earth cracks and shit in there)? Again, phew. There is no religious significance to today’s sky slug. It is not a herald of the Apocalypse, or a sign of God’s wrath upon the Egyptians (or any other -ians). Always double-check your biblical prophecies; don’t get caught flat footed when the seven headed beast shows up.
I’m coasting on a happy, riding this high to Friday, or maybe Thursday. We shall see. My optimism is astonishingly high, despite being defeated 23 – 0 by a fish. “Fuck you fish. You have nothing on me. Come at me bro!” That’s how we’re going to end this one.
I can’t stay cooped up in here all the time blog, even if the environment is less than desirable. I broke with my medically induced resting period and got back out on the water, a little earlier than most other times I’ve been out there. I needed to go, and be outside, smell the morning air, and see the sun come up.
It was dark, like 4:45 or something am. I had a hunch the fish would be particularly chompy today and I was right. For once, the fish were actually biting my lure, however, because they are fucking stupid ass trench fish, they can’t even hit the part of the lure where the hook resides. They are hitting the shiny, twirly, silver blades of the spinnerbait, not the tasseled decoy-fish head with the hooks attached to it. I was distinctly nipped 3-4 times on my 50 – 75 retrieves. I specicically targeted the same ridge on 5 or so consecutive casts, and that’s when I noticed the bites. They do not like being pestered, and they will strike if pestered. Now I just need a bait they will hit and get stuck to.
I was thinking of cannibalizing a rooster tail topwater bait and making it into a sort of double bladed spinner-trout setup with two trebles and 4 spinning blade components, two per arm. I want to try it with the rooster on first, then ax it if they pay that no mind. Today, though fishless, was progress. These pestilent, contaminated trench dwellers have revealed the chink in their armor, the proverbial missing scale on the stalwart otherwise impregnable exterior of the dragon. Now I know how I’m going to defeat you, little fishy fishbrains. Your days of peace are dwindling fast.
The wind was with me today, so I got to practice a revised casting motion that allows my left hand to generate the “flick” to send the lure flying, rather than snapping the setup forward with my wrist, and leaving the left hand out of it. I had much better control after a few dozen casts, and was pinpointing boils when they happened (shit bit of good it did me). Muscle memory will take time, but the motion is fluid, effective and natural.
I’m looking forward to getting back to my 10,000+ steps a day. BOY can I tell when I’m not keeping up with my routine. I get lethargic, slow, achy, grumbly… it’s bad. But active, I feel loose, aware/alert, ready and can easily access a great deal of energy. Exercise, sun, breathing big deep breaths… there’s a lot meds can do for you, but they can’t do that. I’ll be back later today I imagine as things unfold.
By that I mean personally; there are no new lands being charted. However, I do tend to start naming things in my environment once I become established. Below you will find a map of my new home and the various places I have marked and named. Explanations provided. The area, in general will be known as the Muck Trench and the surrounding foliage Muck Trench Woods.
Welcome to: Muck Trench Proper
1. The Sky Bridge: goes over the 80 and is the only way to get to the best fishing spot. Puts the fear of impending death on you every time you cross
2. Best Fishing Spot: where I stand around waving my stick in the air and catching nothing while fish laugh in my face
3. Alternate Fishing Spot: there is good mojo here, but no fish… which leads you to wonder what the fuck said mojo is really doing?
4. Long Road: this is the area where a Grass Bear would be most likely to strike, beware (distant, more aggressive relative of Sand Bear)
5. Far Outpost: possibly radioactive, possibly lost alien hardware, possibly the doom of humankind… 100% mystery
6. Sleepy Spot: never looked very comfortable, and now it’s kinda dead, and scattered about like a lion kill
7. Near Outpost: not too far from the road and the spider union has its lodgings here (SUMT local 888 [we let the Black Widows decide the numbers])
8. Popular Fishing Spot: just as mucky as the rest of the Trench but here you can park a car and take in the smells up close
My starting point is always to cut through Barandas Park to get at the paved walking trail. You must “bushwack” a few feet to get from paved road by the sky bridge to Muck Trench service road where the rest of the trail goes. This is the one I need to take *** on and see what she if she thinks it’s as exciting as I do. Lots of fuzzy animals running around, pesticide loaded scuz pit to our left… noice. Some nature better than broken solo cup and homeless guy sleeping for scenery on my walks in El Cajon.
I’m geared up for another fantastic week in my newfound home, starting with my warmline and trip to the NAMI office today. I need to tell David that I am now very actively seeking employment due to my recent acceleration of life-timetables. I want him to have first crack. I know I need to make at least as much as I was at my last job If I want to afford a 1BR around here. I’m doing a budget spreadsheet this morning in preparation for my eventual transition. Without calculation, planning and care, well-intended steps towards progress can sometimes be misplaced. So for now, we are in the stages of the process where everything gets figured out before we execute (by “we” I am referring to myself, my PM and my Architect). A lot like building something with blueprints. Look at them for a good long time and make sure that with the way it’s drawn, that it will all fit together again when they have to go out and build the thing.
I’m tired of not being the Lord of my own castle, with an Iron Throne to perch myself on and hand out edicts to my vassals (which at this point would consist of any insect or rodent that would have wandered onto the premises). I need a pit full of slaves looking sad, and another pit with slaves fighting hundreds of very angry tortoises. Ah yes, my reign will be long and prosperous. “Bring your Lord some more Saltines!”
So blog, I’m going to the office today so I get to fancycate myself and smell less like moldy elephant splatters and more like “fresh” human. Hooray! I’m starting up at 8, then heading over to the office at 10. I have a great deal of optimism for myself about the direction I have decided to go. I am still sad to see my parents self-destructing just beyond my ability to do anything about. I feel less flabbergasted today, but still resolved to seek alternative living arrangements as soon as possible. I just don’t need roommates, not even my parents, though I love them both. I need to be in my own space, by myself, in charge of what happens in the environment and secure in a self-defined kingdom of my own control. I feel this is a healthy step towards better individuation, albeit, sounding a bit like a maniacal overlord planning a takeover rather than a mentally ill person making a healthy life transition. There are more possible future outcomes that lead to happiness for me now if I move out on my own than if I were to stay in this box.
It’s already off to a good start, this week, and I eagerly await the next few days as my foot presses harder onto the gas pedal; racing forward towards the promise of better days. I’ll be checking in here through the day… so bai for now!
I think this will be my last post for today. I have the beers and I intend to drink them, and slip quietly into oblivion. Today can go fuck itself.
I have included this image which I found, demonstrating that sometimes things go boom, but after enough trees are flattened, things are good again. I claim that of my many talents, this one is not. I am a sham to even idle doodlers, but I get to express whatever I want out here. May some shitty drawing I had from years ago remind me of things that go boom.
See below for my truly fantastic, original, cards for people on holidays. It is a tradition of absolutely superior quality, and to have a maker’s mark of some form. In this instance, the recipient was my sister, and the occasion is Mother’s Day. On a side note, the creatures spoken of on the card are REVILED by my sister, who insists they are among the few things on this Earth she truly despises.
I HIGHLY doubt anyone knows what the Evil Eye of Orms-By-Gore is, but if you do, tell me!
On Monday when ********* and I went for a walk on the paved trail, we went farther than I had gone before. Today, I resolved to find out where it goes. Turns out to be pretty fucking cool:
And it deposited me back on El Camino just east of Cathedral Oaks.
Good trip, and I feel invigorated after. Now I’m going to eat some yummy foods and relax for a little while. I have been playing the last few days over in my head, looking at myself, at ****, trying to understand what I can do to stabilize the boat. We will communicate soon and I know she will help me understand what I did and how I can avoid doing that in the future, or whatever the circumstance may be. I’d like to take her on this walk someday, and finish the loop and continue the conversation we started almost a week ago.
I am truly fortunate to live in this place. Beautiful environment, gated, safe, fishing spots abound, easy handicapped access and great, inviting staff. This place was a score, needless to say. I would be content still living in this complex if I had my own 1BR somewhere within it. The venue could not be more beautiful. I am very lucky to be here and living to catapult myself forward.
So, this was out last Southern California rockhounding trip until we move north and… it was the greatest of all time.
Among the DISPLAY QUALITY samples we found were: Blue Lace Agate, Fire Agate, Chalcedony, and numerous other Agates, conglomerates and absolutely fantastic samples. The best drusy samples I have ever seen if clear Chalcedony and Fire Agate. My geologic mapping skills and my mom’s intuition led us to the finest rockhounding spots we have ever seen. It is true to form that we save the best for last. Once we have the pieces cleaned and mounted, I will have images. 25 lbs of pure mineral glory recovered. Not to mention the fact we dug our first pegmatite and recovered minerals from it, of quality!! Come on now, it doesn’t get better than that.
These were some of the colorful jaspers we found (yellow, green and red) with brown chalcedony and jadeite of varying colors, notably blue and green. They represent an amalgamation of various rockhounding trips we have been on over the years around California. Some remarkable specimens, very unique, you would be hard-pressed to see another one like it, ever. They are unique snapshots into geologic history, and represent the sometimes mixed state of minerals coalescing at formation points deep in a pegmatite or similar place. We take them in a raw state and reduce them in size over the course of a month of rolling them around in a rock tumbler, with changing grits to perfect the rounding and polishing components of the procedure. We have more waiting in the wings, and some of the quartz and red aventurine from this most recent batch did not polish all the way, and will need at least 5 days more in the tumblers with some ceramic pellets to help them shine up nice. I will be photographing those once they are done, and once the next two barrels next week. For now, some great pieces, more soon to come.
We woke up and got this thing rolling. We were on the I-8 East by 7:00 am and the morning marine layer had just started to lift up and away as we rapidly gained elevation outside of El Cajon. Then we were cruising through the mountains, with the yellow sun beating us head on over the ridge-tops. Then the oddest thing happened… the temperature plummeted to 43 degrees and this insane mountain fog showed up, thick, wet and freezing. I had to document:
So we drove through that, and got out to McCain Valle Road, which is miles of dirt road all pretty well maintained, to my surprise. And there were lots of open use campgrounds with no rangers but pay boxes for your $6 per night fee. Pretty cool. We saw some people camping in the freezing cold and I remembered my recent trip to the so-called Lake Morena. Ah, memories.
We went out to the spot I picked, and did our best collecting at that first site. I knew the back of the valley would have the highest chance of yielding collectable samples, and I was mostly right. The terrain was far more bushy than I had thought it would be, and my uncovered legs got pretty scratched up as we hiked through narrow granite riverbeds and low brush. Eventually we had walked out into another campsite, and just took the road back. Actually, we collected some nice samples right out of the gravel road, which had been seeded with local till as well as gravel. I picked a very nice rose Quartz while we went on our way back. On the way out of the valley, we stopped at a lookout and I used my pitiful iPhone camera to capture the Carizzo overlook, and the desert floor below.
With Moo up to her usual antics
After that, we drove down into the Jucumba flats area, and hit two more collecting sites, a dirt turnout near old highway 80, and a long river-wash near some hilly outcroppings. The last site yielded some fine Feldspar samples, mostly white, but with remarkable features.
Once home, we washed the samples and laid them out for a picture, which didn’t come out very well. But hey, I’m not expecting much from my phone after all.
So, a successful, and fun trip. I should not have forgotten my sunglasses, as the white granite and sand was utterly blinding me. But you can see the rose Quartz I picked up, as well as a nice Amatrine my mom found, and the Feldspar is the white stuff.
Great adventure, fun day, phew, I’m tired. Good show. See you later.
So I’ve been competitively gaming with Will now for 16 matches, in which I have won 14 and lost 2 (87.5%). It’s been an evolving strategy, but the most recent permutation, in which XV8 Sunfire Battlesuits are my primary unit, I’ve run the board against every single opposing unit, every time. The lynchpin of this entire transaction is the XV89 Bodyguard command squad. As I have detailed in the past, That squad is beefy, and clearly the best tier 2 thing the Tau Empire can build. They get stronger at tier 3, once I buy the ranged Tau weapon tech. Tau weapons get 2 upgrades, one at tier 1, the other at tier 3. It makes most rapid fire plasma units hard to stop. Anyway, the XV89s are essential, and behind them I bring the XV22 and XV89 commanders. They have a shield, and can sit in fire and take immense amounts of damage, and return heavy DPS. Once they level past 4, they usually have all their special weapons and armor improvements, which makes them even insaner. The XV89 commander has a grenade launcher which knocks down clusters of infantry at a time, and it has a 2 second reload time. He makes mayhem. But more to the point, I can usually count on the XV89 Bodyguards to handle damn near anything attacking me as I’m quietly leveling to tier 3. With 5 command units total comprising my ENTIRE offensive force, I can drive off any form of assault and not lose anyone, and then reinforce them with Sunfire Battlesuits and Hammerhead Gunships. It’s really, really hard to stop that.
The real question I have here is that: are the XV89 Bodyguard command squad OP? If I don’t turn their shield off, they can sit there with no shield and still take a beating and not die. If you don’t have poison, or fire, they’re not at all easy to destroy. Will has put 6 full, outfitted infantry battalions against my 1 (3 unit) command squad and been soundly defeated. He says that those infantry units were specifically upgraded and equipped to deal with heavy infantry and vehicles, of which battlesuits both count, I think, and even that was no go. I, at the moment, have no real logical answer for his predicament. I suggested using poison, which he tried with an area of affect thingie, which was also ineffective. I have yet to have him try fire or plasma, which may incur success. I’ll keep you posted as the next time we are likely to get together tomorrow.
In the mean time, I’ve been cruising at +14:30 minute victories, peaking around the +10:00 minute mark in tier 3. I can get through the tiers pretty fast, and faster depending on the map, and how quickly I can get to the resources, and how much walk-time there is between points, and so on. Hammerheads are deadly good, fire a ton of rounds, and have a multifunction upgradable main gun with 4 customization options beyond the default. XV8 Sunfire Battlesuits have anti-infantry or anti-armored vehicle weapon customization options per squad of 3. I can adapt on the fly, and mix the weapon upgrades on my XV8s in order to get the most effective use of them, cutting down specific classes of units in targeted, coordinated strikes. I make good micromanaging decisions with what little actual standing infantry I will allow to enter the mix. Usually my barracks is in use making battlesuits, but I wills stop and make a squad of Fire Warriors… but mostly because battlesuits can’t cap points. Fuckers. They think of everything. Make me build 1 pathetically outclassed infantry squad and run them around the battlefield capping points surrendered as my army destroys any and all unfriendly listening posts en route to domination.
I wish I knew the Chaos Space Marines better, but frankly, I’ve grown so nostalgic over them that it only ever reminds me of Will to face them. I’d never play them, given how little interest I have in destroying that perfectly good situation I have now. My relationship with Chaos is exclusively adversarial.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I’m going to have a few more rounds with the HR (who I seem to be able to dominate and only fret if facing Dark Eldar).
First off, let me just say that these guys got a huge makeover. Things looked, well, shabby, until now. These buildings are the core objects that the typical Tyranid base will inevitably contain. It’s ambiance, folks.
Hive Tyrant (Commander). Level 8. 11276 HP. Squad Size = 1 + 3 Hive Guard. Melee 113 – 135 Ranged 145 – 170 damage. Upgraded with Scything Talons + Crushing Claws. Cost: 280R/0P
I adore this commander unit. I mean, how do you stop him exactly? The AI has no idea how to use him, or when to have him hold ground or flee. He can fly, also. Though the new model didn’t grow any wings when I researched the technology. I bet he still flies but has no animation for it. Or some such. Anyway, with those two upgrades, he’s clearly the centerpiece of the entire Tyranid army. Without him rallying the swarm, they have no hope. He seals the deal though, in a big way. He’s surrounded by a new honor guard of sorts, and he spews a cloud of pestilence all the time.
The Crushing Claws looked nice in this model’s rendering. The talons are huge. So, he’s beefcake, needless to say. Complimentary to him is the secondary commander, the Bloodlord. He’s smaller, faster, and not really intended to be the vanguard of any army, but a tactician, summoning troops and dispatching fast waves of Tyranids with little difficulty. He is a flesh wizard, summoning and upgrading himself with a series of extremity armaments and other useful things. Like I said, he’;s not to be the front line guy, rather, somewhere in the back negotiating new troop assignments and rallying more of the swarm to the battle line.
Bloodlord (Commander). Level 8. 2430 HP. Squad size = 1 + 8 Genestealers. Melee 138 – 161 damage. Cost: 220R/0P
Together they account for the fastest army in all of Ultimate Apocalypse. I’ve found the Tyranids to be boring, because they have no tech selections and are driven only to make more Tyranids appear on the battlefield and make them stronger. It’s great if you like to Zerg your opponents with a great sum of meats. I’m not a big fan of winning by digestion. They are single-resource driven, with Power serving as a “special” resource for executing Hive-Mind commands and deploying special abilities, not for making buildings or units. This can get a little, um, tiring. It’s not as much fun to balance just 1, 2 is exciting. 1 is boring. Mostly 1 anyway.
It should be noted that since the Fan Patch, the Tyranid army has a relic commander unit that has no upgrade capacity. It’s rather like a, Avitar of Khaine, but fleshier. And also very big and buff. It does nasty things to units, demolishes structures in a few swipes.
Well there you have it. I took a stab at briefly summarizing and providing some commander flavored insights. The melee damage numbers on these guys has got to be off by a mile. I don’t think it computes a new figure when you chose upper and lower extremities on the Hive Tyrant. Which is why I listed them, so you have some idea about his likely damage output.
I had to do a blood test for the clinic on Wednesday, and Maria really fucked up my arm. She missed the vein and dealt me some unusual electric agony as she dug around for blood. I managed to painfully fill one vial, and about 1/10 the second one. By the end of this I was not really aware of the damage done. It’s since become delicate, dealing swift shocks of pain if moved to extension. I’ve had pain liker this, when I nearly severed my left pointer. The pain was sharp, bad, and deep.
So, i typed this whole post with my left hand. Brevity only because of circumstance.
Fragrance of flowers,
Dust on the pillow.
Soliloquy of summer.
Hot breath run ragged,
Crumbling mountains climb.
West sun fading.
Sealed with a dry kiss.
Night is upon us.
Whistle the chapped leaves,
Screaming bright sunlight–
Part the quaking clouds.
A wind of shushed whispers–
Moan through the ancients,
Riddled, splashed with colorful heat,
Chalked to rubble like powdered bones.
Whisked down with rain–
A sandy mudpack crisping–
Choking on the last breath,
Cool, clean water, gone.
An imposing night,
Red cheeks pitted–
Ever-dry against the gale.
Remembering the summits–
A shadow of itself…
Great in the memory of pouring mayhem,
Shattering the sky with billowing hate,
Slow-moving basaltic-hell unfurled,
Cascading down the slopes,
Petrifying the unsuspecting.
Bellowing an ashy-death,
Told in the story of stones–
And old rivers of electric blood–
Corked somewhere underfoot–
Bleached from its roots–
Distant from the source…
Standing with old peaks,
Going the way of history.
I have finished calculating the best configuration for the second year of managing my own league. I based this primarily on experimental data collected during last season. I have figured out, in my opinion, how to balance the different roster positions against each other to reward each, yet, keep them at comparative, competitive levels. I have included the breakdown box, which is where my spreadsheet draws variables to calculate fantasy point values on the main scorecard. It will tell the exact fantasy point value for every score-able element. Each scoring category is reiterated in the detailed comparisons shown after the breakdown box.
The league is going to be better than ever this year, and even if I have to scour the public forums for participants, I shall have a league.
Rocks came out the tumbler today. They look pretty sweet. Lots of color.
I also reinstalled Total Annihilation with the Unit Compilation Pack. I’ll let you know once I actually play a game. Rumor has it: TA is really hard and I’m not mad skills enough to make much progress against the AI. It seems to use the new units well. More betters then me does.
I went on a hike with my new friend Jacqueline. I KNOW. But she’s super funny and a great person to hang with. Nice hike to get to this spot. We saw bugs. Even a daring road-crossing black widow who met her doom at the hands of my shoe. HA. Hands of my shoe is the name of my new band.
Here’s a panorama type shot I tried to take. and Splice together again afterward. Clearly.
She found another man… amidst the crisis of her ailing husband’s hospitalization. She found a new dude who told her something that got her to open her legs, and he entered her, over and over again, much to her delight. And so she fucked him as I laid myself down in my cold hospital room and sobbed myself to sleep, contemplating a deep regret, and acknowledging how badly I had hurt the ONE person I love (d) more than any I had ever cherished before. I held her in my soul, felt her pain, and cried… until sleep finally took me. Every night I was in there. And at the exact moment I dove deep into my lament, she let another man be in her.
Yep. She cheated on me, and shot our marriage right in the fucking head. This was probably not a good idea, in my opinion. My family alone is reason to stay married to a shiftless loser such as myself.
They (above) are so great. Solid, dependable, loving, kind… the list only gets deeper as I go. I adore my family. They have seen me burn my life down more than once, and been there to help me rebuild it. With love, even.
I was willing to have my existence extinguished forever. I was. Albeit, there was a lot of insane-juice pumping through my veins. I remember the police confrontation in hazy bits and fragmented memory-stained pieces. They shot me in the chest with a rocket-propelled beanbag. And it didn’t hurt at the time, because there was about 8 trillion milligrams pure hysterical-adrenaline running through my system. Hurts now, kinda… tender. But not because they shot me, but because my biggest love I ever had set fire to the remnants of my life, and made me alone again.
It looks like I am bleeding internally. And perhaps that is true in a metaphorical, euphemistic sense. My heart did just burst, finally, after all the time I spent trying to convince it that I would need to rebuild my life with her. That I had damn near burned everything down, but love would remain. Love would keep us together, because we VOWED to be MARRIED to each other for the rest of our lives. Through all the holyshitfuckdamn trials of life with mental illness. We would endure. I was SO FUCKING SURE she understood that my illness is no joke, that it is real, dangerous, scary, sad and IN DESPERATE NEED OF SOMEONE WHO WILL HOLD-THE-LINE IN A CRISIS.
Her coping mechanism was to find someone new to fuck. And who knows, maybe this will be the moment she becomes a huge success? I’m guessing she more than likely squandered her best chance at a happy life, when she let another man come insider her.
So, my heart is sick, and now gushing blood in all directions.
I’m so fucking sad. But that’s normal when someone utterly guts you, and reduces your (my) ambitious love to ruin.
She’s really gone, and for now, so am I.
*raises his chalice*
To good fortune, and better days ahead. I drink to your health, and mine as well.
Life is different, but then again, I guess I’m going to have to keep wading my way through it, regardless of obstacle or pain. Being alive is a great thing, even if it induces great suffering, and even if your heart is mashed to mush.
Jacqueline. I love you. And I will miss you terribly…
Because this is our final goodbye.
You have finally flown away.
The very best of the take, photographed by Birdy.
Trust me, this just a sampling of some of the truly amazing specimens we were able to recover: Red and Yellow Jasper, Jadeite, Black Agate, Quartz (Amethyst, Amatrine, Citrine, Rose and Smokey), Feldspar and Chalcedony of varying colors.
The bulk of what you see here was recovered at the secret spot in northern Jacumba, CA. The crystal-clear smokey is from the Red Rock Canyon region of the Mojave Desert. We’re just touching the tip of the iceberg here. Just what would photograph well. There are dozens more pieces of Agate and Chalcedony ready to be used as stunning jewelry. The best one ever, right here.
Snapped By my Daddo at an Arizona Airshow in 1988, one of only 20 ever built. Even with an otherwise flawless record in 27 years of service, 1 crash is to many. More then one hundred dead. Decommissioned in 2003, three years later. A symbol of our cultural decadence, and ultimately, just as flawed.
I’ve been thinking some about disasters of late. I really really feel itchy inside sometimes, like I’m somewhat expecting something to happen. Soon. I mean, sooner rather than later. I can’t explain it any more then it constitutes radical anxiety. Because that’s all it really is. An itchy, disturbing, prickly feeling that makes me ever-alert for the first disturbances from the ground. I know what should do in case of emergency. That’s not the point.
I feel like it’s looming. That’s all. And scientifically, I am 100% correct. It’s at minimum 180 years past a normal release of tension from the San Andreas. It’s easily been 300 years since anything larger than a 6 hit that area. Pressure has been building for a good long time now. Pressure. Pressure. If it moves just as fast as my fingernails grow, rock is compressing against rock for some nearly unfathomable distance imho, CONSIDERING WE’RE POUNDING TWO SOLID ROCKS TOGETHER. JESUS. Last time I checked, that’s hard to do, and creates pressure. Pressure. I would have like, YARDS of fingernail growth after 300 years, like turning a roll of toilet paper loose across the floor and watching it vanish into the horizon… whhifflewafflecracklsskunchkt… cunk.
Seriously though, we’re fine. Palm Springs, you need to gtfo right now because damn, why did we EVER build a metropolitan area right there? I mean seriously? On alluvial deposits as well? That’s not going to have been a good move for someone, at some point in time in the future. Will I be around to see it? Who knows. Ever see a giant sand wave destroy a city? Ever see a wal-mart disappear to a dirt-nami and be under 70 feet of sand in a few seconds? Yeah, I brought that! DIRT-NAMI, you can quote me.
Needless to say…
I’m still itchy.
With the bulk of the shaping work done, I wanted to snap some pictures of the stones as they are nearing the middle of the cycle. They have a little more than 2 weeks to go, and are really starting to take on their beautiful final shapes.
Even though they may not look it, these stones are perfectly smooth. Any detail you see is a visual effect made possible by clear portions of the stone contrasted against a more solid inclusion or separate mineral area. The take shown here was collected from various sites all over California.
Fire Agate, collected in the Coyote Mountains, due north of Ocotillo, CA.
A stunningly clear Smokey Quartz, collected at Lone Pine, CA.
Yellow Jasper, collected at Red Rock Canyon, off state route 14 in eastern California’s Mojave Desert.
Red Jasper, collected in the foothills north of Jacumba, CA, in the Table Mountain volcanic area.
Moss Agate, collected at the Coyote Mountains, in San Diego County’s eastern desert.
Jadeite, collected in an alluvial iron-rich soil deposit north of Jacumba, CA, in the shadow of Table Mountain.
Heavily, but beautifully included Chalcedony, collected north of Jacumba, CA.
Brown Chalcedony collected at Lone Pine, CA, in the Alabama Hills area.
Chalcedony, collected in the alluvial zone east of Table Mountain volcano, just north of Jacumba CA.
A 2 colorful and included Quartz specimens collected at the crest of a granite deposit near Jacumba CA.
A truly outstanding included Chalcedony, found in the “secret spot” somewhere in the western alluvial zone near Table Mountain volcanic area, in the high desert of eastern San Diego County.
Keep digging, rockhounds.
We went on a fucking adventure. I made them climb vertical rock-faces, scale steep hills and plow through thick, brambly brush. We were cut-up, beat-down and torn-to-pieces. I made my way, and eventually we, to the top of a iron-rich soil-topped hill, where chunks of gleaming, multicolored quartz was popping out of the ground everywhere you looked. Some of the best pieces I have EVER recovered here in San Diego. EVER. I’ve been out to the Painted Gorge in the Coyote Mountains, and up to In-Ko-Pah Park, and never found anything this nice. Seriously. Splendid Ametrines, Rose Quartz, Citrine, Blue Chalcedony, Red Jasper, Black Agate and Pale white Feldspar. We have them loaded for tumbling. Just waiting on the grits to come in.
So, here is a diagram of where we trecked, starting in the south, up the carrizo gorge train tracks, then off into the riverbed from there. Then up a hair-raising sheer rock face, and over a giant granite pluton, to the top of the iron-rich soil exposed at the top of the hill. We worked our way back down to the east/south and crossed the riverbed where it was broader. I tripped in the wash on the way back to the truck and fall down go boom.
The RED geologic unit on the map was supposed to be pre-Cenozoic granitic and metamorphic rocks, surrounded by the PINK area: Mesozoic granitic rocks. Nearby volcanic activity in the Round and Table Mountain volcanic areas lead me to believe that mineral Pegmatites might be found mixed in with the granite in the RED area. So, although we did not locate a pocket, we still found a seam of quartz coming out of the top of the hill. There may be a much richer deposit somewhere underground, but my geologic knowledge only goes so far.
All in all, it’s the BEST SCORE we’ve ever had here in San Diego. Comparable to our Mojave Desert trip we did a few months back.
Looks like this in Google Maps:
All in all, it was neat to be standing in a place where few of no people have ever gone gem collecting. It was fantastic pickings, and all on BLM land. With the exception of a wierd little gated motor-home community, this place is about as remote as you can get.
1.51 miles round trip. Well worth the pain.
Our trip, in its entirety, spanned 484 miles, and took 2.25 days to complete. We traveled north, along the 15, breaking off on the 215 for a short distance; reuniting with the 15 again through the Cajon Pass and across the San Andreas Fault. We were then riding smoothly across the North American Tectonic Plate, after leaving the somewhat mobile Pacific Tectonic Plate in our wake. We crossed in to the high desert, the Mojave: a scene mostly unchanged for several million years. The old remnants of volcanic activity dotted the land, and ancient lava-flows were piled up on all sides by the encroaching sand. It was a truly unforgettable environment.
We were hardcore, and drove up there AND made the first site (B on the Google map) in one go. We were dressed for desert-combat, and fully prepared to brave the harshness of both wind and sand. But we had a good day instead, with hardly a trace of wind, and NOT A SINGLE RATTLESNAKE! For the entire trip! Amazing…
Site one was hard to get to. It was a geologic zone I identified early on as having a high-potential for gemstone output. The quality of jasper would be lower, but there would be blue chalcedony to be had there, and other varieties of quartz-family stones.
Once we got into the zone, we elevated our search past some old silver mines, and headed up the hill, to where a distinct transition of color in the soil was taking place. The farther up the hills we went, the more the chalcedony came bubbling out of the ground. It was truly, truly amazing.
In the shadow of an ancient volcano to the north, we absolutely killed it. We had well over 15 pounds of rock from the day 1 excursion. And a high percentage of that take is of amazing quality.
On day 2, we traveled farther north on the 15, headed for a site better known for it’s jasper as opposed to chalcedony and agate. But it was here where we landed the “big fish” of the trip. Common opal was here, though uncommon, we found some breathtaking pieces. The geologic history of this area is much the same as site 1. The intrusion of a volcano into exsisting sedimentary rock created beautiful colorful canyons and hillsides, loaded with gemstones.
The canyon walls along the Mojave river were spectacular. We headed into the hills, and absolutely rocked it. Pun intended.
Though I had low-expectations for this site, we pulled our best common opals and fire agates here. Unquestionably, the finest gemstone take I have EVER SEEN. Period.
If you were looking through my previous post, The Opal Trip, it would be obvious that the sites we visited are different from the ones I had planned on visiting originally. The truth of the matter is, I failed to do the proper research on vehicular access. The first two sites were intended to be accessed via 4×4 vehicles only. I then re-shaped the plan, and found two different spots that the truck would actually be able to make it to. And although the roads were rugged and lumpy, we got to the right areas, and kicked some serious ass. In a geologic sense.
Overall, the trip was epic, awe-inspiring and fantastically profitable. We have more pure, gemstone-quality minerals in our collection now than I have ever had or seen, anywhere, ever.
I’m very happy with our trip, and boy am I glad to be back on my own mattress again. Motel mattress in Barstow = the suck.
So, we’re officially headed out to the desert May 19-20. We’re staying a night in Barstow (exciting, I know…), but rockhounding 2 distinct sites, looking for rare minerals. The first stop, I’ve both researched and confirmed in the Califirina guide. The official geologic map for the state points to a paleolithic sedimentary deposit turned metamorphic when the area was intruded upon by subductive volcanism. Igneous intrusions abound, and the desert wind and air has taken it’s toll on the site, as you can see in the low-profile of the mountains. Area in question is to the north west of Barstow, in the light blue cluster bordering the tertiary volcanic activity.
Transposing the two images reveals the terrain change is the area in question, and the run-off and erosion points on the hills are areas to target. Places in the “bake-zone” where, at one time, molten rock came into contact with sedimentary rock. At site 1, we are looking for opals primarily, with a chance at agates or jasper. There is a good chance of picking up crystal here too, in the garnet family.
At site 2, we have to go a tad down the 40 freeway. But not too far. The site will be rich in geodes, and banded agates of various forms. There is a greater percent chance of finding crystal gemstones here as well. The site is visible as steep hills, eroded by desert wind. Area in question is the mixing point of both tertiary and quadentary volcanic areas, where they entered more pre-exsisting sedimentary rock deposits; to the south of Newberry Springs.
Really mixed bag at site 2, so I’m not sure what to expect. The geologic zone indicates more “bake-zone” mineralogy, but the nature of the original geologic unit makes a difference in what minerals appear at the site. For now, I’m cautiously optimistic about what the site holds, but only hitting the ground will give us the solid indicator.
A closer look at target areas for site one makes it clear that I intend to hit the ridges, looking for PRISTINE samples uncovered by rain. Hopefully, there’s a revelation or two to be had out there. I have a feeling the site isn’t done coughing up treasures just yet…
Site two is DEFINITELY MORE CHALLENGING as far as climbing goes. We may NEED to stick to valleys and less ridges. However, we’re looking for minerals in formations more prone to being round, so they may have a chance to have rolled down the hill a ways during the years.
I’m, again, going to attack this site from the perspective of a novice, and assume our better condensations will be in run-off points, rather than trying for a pristine sample at the top of a hill, JUST uncovered.
As you can see, I’ve given our strategy some thought. I want to maximize our efficiency, as collecting precious stones is a big part of our success. I will, of course, have a post on this, but for now, it’s a future engagement, liable to produce some AMAZING finds. Like nothing we could collect locally.
Finally, I’ll have pictures up soon of the most recent batch, the one that finished polishing today. 2 tumbling barrels full of beautiful quartz and feldspar. Great finds a-plenty, from more ancient volcanism. Anyway, go rockhounding sometime.
You might be surprised what you find:
So, it snowed in the local mountains, and since Birdy has never actually been in the snow, we pretty much had to go.
But who is the bigger idiot in the snow?
Think I have the market cornered on stupid.
Yes, I just did that.
Ad it only gets better…
A good example of someone who is not going totally insane because the water on the ground is frozen. But still pretty fucking excited:
And then there’s me…
Just a couple of dorks enjoying the snow. Hope you enjoyed the freak-show…
Far too close to have NOT BEEN NOTICED WHATSOEVER. We have thousands of eyes looking for these NEOs (Near Earth Objects) and yet, we let this MONSTER get by totally unnoticed. I thought my parents were kidding when they said that this happened. I don’t know… but maybe we should be looking a TAD closer at these potential CIVILIZATION ENDING objects more carefully.
I live 18 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It’s the largest ocean on the planet. It has, by far, the most open surface area of water ANYWHERE. If one of these fuckers hits in the middle of the ocean, the tsunami generated would kill me, and every other person living on the west coast of the US. There would be no escaping the wave. I might survive if I started driving IMMEDIATELY after impact, and took off for the 4000 feet above sea level mountains. Even then, a shock-wave tsunami might stretch thousands of feet into the sky, and go inland for miles before losing inertia.
Now I have a real reason to have a backup plan. But really, if THAT is the way I go out, It’s not too bad a way to go. I’d LIKE to survive, but he probability is pretty low.
Time will tell.
It’s pretty difficult to locate a piece of spinning soot-covered, non-reflective black rock in the vast empty dark of space. We only REALLY notice NEOs when they obstruct something. That’s not a great way to find our potential doom, methinks. Maybe we could spend some of our budget on making sure that does not happen…?
A love of Geology, turned into art through the natural expression of stone, and skill.
Something we greatly enjoy about our process is that we actively go out to rock and mineral gathering areas and find raw minerals. We’ll spend all day out in the gorgeous desert collecting hunks of quartz and jaspers, just enjoying ourselves. Afterwards we’ll lug our treasure trove home pick through, ogle, and separate into groups for tumbling. Now they’re not terribly rare, these stones we find, but I think that’s part of beauty. Now a days it seems we put emphasis on the perfect and rare, when there is untold beauty in the very rocks beneath us. We find these quartz, jaspers and agates, and accentuate the already vibrant colors and inclusions they possess. Sometimes the inclusions are the best parts. I love how active a process our jewelry is in creating beauty from the unexpected.
Pegmatite dykes are uncommon in San Diego County, but pretty fucking rare as geologic features go, overall. There are a bunch of factors that contribute to the development of these dykes, but again, the minerals deposited within are usually byproducts of the matrix that was already there before the intrusion of volcanic material. In the case of the Peninsular Ranges, mostly Mesozoic granitic (gabbro) rocks. These were intruded by basaltic volcanoes after the batholith came above ground and began to weather-down.
I’ve been out to the desert hills, looking for undiscovered Pegmatites, but so far, have only found deposits of Tourmaline and Amatrine on surface / alluvial areas. For me, this is unsatisfying. Scouring for a very rare occurrence is likely to end in frustration.
INSTEAD, I’ve decided to allow nature to do the work for me. In east county San Diego, there are old volcanoes that intruded upon the granitic and metamorphic deposits already on the surface, and in all likelihood, produced uncommon minerals from the interactivity of heat and pressure from the intruding magma. Anywhere igneous rock runs into something that was there already, I get interested. I have found an area near the Peninsular Range’s Table Mountain Volcano, where quartz and feldspar from the granitic pluton are heavily concentrated already.
My speculation is that by investigating the wash-out areas from the lowest levels of the volcanic area, I’m likely to find good mineral deposits on the surface. It might take half the day to FULLY INVESTIGATE the area. We’re talking about a mile or so of open desert riverbed. Wash, down from generations of rainfall on soft, sandy, eroded desert granite. It’s a neat place, and I can’t wait to hike the volcano with Birdy.
How about February?
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